FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
15 May 2014
21 Gun Salute to Mark Queen’s Canadian Birthday
Monday, May 19th is Victoria Day, a day when Canadians mark the official Canadian birthday of our Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II. Although she was born on 21 April 1926, since her accession to the throne in 1952 the Queen’s birthday has always been observed on the Monday preceding May 25, following a tradition which dates back in various forms to the reign of Queen Victoria, the first Sovereign of a confederated Canada.
In recent years, Victoria Day has been observed only in low-key ways in most parts of Canada. Federal buildings, for example, are required to fly the Royal Union Flag (the Union Jack) on public buildings where physical arrangements allow (i.e., there is more than one flag pole, the other of which would fly our National Flag). The Royal Union Flag is an official symbol of Canada’s membership in the Commonwealth and of our allegiance to the Crown. This particular way of marking the Queen’s birthday may not attract much attention.
However, an annual tradition carried out by 3 Field Regiment RCA, The Loyal Company, based in Saint John, is hard to miss. This Monday, at 12 noon, the Regiment will fire a 21-gun salute in the parking lot behind the Victoria Health Centre, next to Government House, in Fredericton.
Members of the public are welcomed and encouraged to attend. This year, the NB Branch of the Monarchist League will be on hand to present a small token of appreciation to The Loyal Company. “We appreciate the efforts made by The Loyal Company to honour our Queen, and we hope that many New Brunswickers will gather near Government House to hear the guns boom out their salute,” says Barry MacKenzie, Chairman of the League in New Brunswick. “Victoria is made all the more significant to Canada this year by the presence of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales (who birthday will one day be honoured in this way, when he becomes King) and The Duchess of Cornwall.”